Taking the concept of ‘Smart Cities’ and ‘Smart Islands’ a few sci-fi steps further is a project that has the attention of philanthropists, scientist, entrepreneurs, academics and investors from around the world. The ‘Floating Island Project’ is a pilot project in partnership with the government of French Polynesia.
The project is to see 300 homes built on a human-made island in the Pacific Ocean by 2022; costing up to $50 Million. The island will have its own government and cryptocurrency fuelled economy.
Self-Governance and Cryptocurrency Fuelled
The Floating Island Project is a collaboration between the Seasteading Institute and Blue Frontiers. In an interview with CNBC, Nathalia Mezza-Garcia, a researcher for the Floating Island Project discussed the goals of the project which included creating hundreds of floating island-nations.
She spoke about how the self-governed cryptocurrency backed islands can be a solution to a number of ‘land society’ issues: enriching the poor, feeding the hungry, housing refugees as sea levels rise and cleaning the atmosphere are all included in the extraordinary scope of possibility the project possesses.
She said, “Once we can see how this first island works, we will have a proof of concept to plan for islands to house climate refugees.”
Nathalia also went on to describe how the Floating Island Project can act as a sanctuary for individuals and businesses who find their present governments lackluster, saying:
“If you don’t want to live under a particular government, people will be able to just take their house and float away to another island.” She continues, “This means there is stability, outside of fluctuating geopolitical influences, trade issues and currency fluctuations — it’s the perfect incubator.”
Smart Cities & Smart Islands
The urbanization of the globe is ever increasing with cities, populations, and costs of living ever rising, which threatens to increase social inequality, push up crime levels and slow down economic growth. However, smart cities are said to be a solution to the problem by utilizing technology to reduce costs and better fund these cities.
According to IoT Agenda, the definition of a smart city varies, but the term encompasses a broad mission goal to optimize the functions of a city, i.e., public transport, hospitals and traffic through the ‘emerging trends’ of automation, machine learning and the Internet of Things (IoT).
The IoT Agenda piece goes on to detail a myriad of characteristics that a smart city will contain and makes the case that local and national collaborative efforts from governments and the public are crucial in making a smart city successful.
Smart Islands are being taken too in a similar way. However, they are more of an emerging and philanthropic endeavor as these projects are designed to bring otherwise ‘unconnected’ islands to the global stage, empowering their respective civilizations using Smart City standards.
The Floating Island Project is a step beyond that, from scratch it is building a smart and futuristic environment that benefits from having true sovereignty, self-governance and its own cryptocurrency, not forgetting to mention the noble goals of the project that on the surface, looks as though it was plucked from science fiction literature.
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Image Source: The Seasteading Institute